BP Can Pump 4M Barrels a Day Until 2020, Even Without New Finds

BP replaced its annual production by 112% in 2007, taking its proved reserves of oil and gas to 17.8 billion barrels.

It also added some 2.4 billion new barrels to its non-proved resource base which now stands at a further 42.1 billion barrels of oil equivalent. This combined with year-end reserves of 17.8 billion barrels, took resources plus reserves to 60 billion barrels, extending the life of BP's production from 41 to 43 years at current rates.

Assuming a $60 oil price, the strength of this position - reinforced by recent access to new opportunities in Oman, Libya and Colombia, along with heavy oil in Canada - supports production potential of around 4.3 million barrels a day by 2012, BP chief executive Tony Hayward said.

Highlighting key elements of the company's annual strategy presentation to financial analysts, Hayward said that in a $60 price world BP was confident not only of boosting output over the next four years but of being able to sustain production of at least 4 million barrels a day until 2020 even with no new discoveries or access to new opportunities.

"However, bearing in mind a rise in exploration spend to nearly $1 billion this year together with significant additions of fresh acreage in established areas such as the deepwater Gulf of Mexico and a continuing drive to access new provinces around the world, we expect to do better than this," Hayward said.

Exploration & Production chief executive Andy Inglis said BP had found a major new reservoir below the Shah Deniz field in Azerbaijan, one of the largest discoveries in the world last year. Other big finds were made in Egypt, Angola and the Gulf of Mexico.